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Effective & Exciting Information Literacy outreach efforts for international & ESL students. John Hickok, MLIS, MA Coordinator of Library Instruction ESL Librarian California State University, Fullerton. First session (1 ½ hours): A 3-fold plan for outreaching to international & ESL students.
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Effective & ExcitingInformation Literacyoutreach effortsfor international & ESL students John Hickok, MLIS, MA Coordinator of Library Instruction ESL Librarian California State University, Fullerton
First session (1 ½ hours):A 3-fold plan for outreaching to international & ESL students
Introduction: Demographics • 2007-8: International students in the U.S.-- over HALF A MILLION! http://opendoors.iienetwork.org/?p=131590 • 2006: 10.8 MILLION K-12 school children (20%) coming from a non-English speaking home http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/2008/section1/indicator07.asp
Library/Research Skills • What kind of library/Research (Information Literacy) skills do these students arrive at universities with? • From my 10 years of observations: a lacking in these skills among International & ESL students
Yes, but don’t homegrown, English-speaking U.S. students likewise lack I.L. skills???
Of course. However… Extra challenges: • English unfamiliarity • Culture shock • Different academic system (e.g. little independent Research) • Limited experience with libraries/ librarians due to different library conditions in their home countries
3-fold plan: 1.Do background research about your int’l/ESL students’ countries/cultures… namely, educational & library aspects. 2. Prepare custom outreach guides (online, but print too) for these students 3. Outreach to them, by going to them! (to their clubs, ESL classes, parties, etc.)
1a. Read the professional literature on educational aspects e.g. “Teaching and Learning in Korean Classrooms”, Asia Pacific Education Review, v4 n2 p140-150 2003
1b. Read the professional literature on foreign library conditions e.g. “Information Literacy in Chinese Higher Education”, Library Trends 51 no2 210-17 Fall 2002
1c. Consult campus cultural experts • Chicano Resource Center director • Asian or Asian-American Studies faculty • Education faculty (Compar. Int’l. Educ.) • School/public librarians of local ethnic areas • Int’l Education or ESL Dept. Director • Ethnic faculty/staff themselves! (younger/more recent = better)
1d. Query the students themselves(pre-contact) • Administer a IL survey to them via their ESL teacher, the Int’l Office director, their student club advisor, etc.
1e. And finally…establish contacts with libraries at foreign universities that send many of your Int’l students • an atypical way of doing this…
If you like to travel, then sure, write a research travel grant…or if on a vacation, visit academic libraries then. • But even if you don’t travel, you can still make contacts and do this virtually.
How virtually? 1. Identify demographics at your library—what country is most heavily represented? 2. Check with your university’s Int’l Relations office and Int’l Exchange office to see what partnerships you have
3. Then contact those universities’ libraries from their websites. (English is the de facto international language, so Web pages in English are increasingly common—with email contacts and bilingual staff)
An optional “nice touch”: • If you have a campus colleague who is bilingual, sending your intro letter bilingually is great!
Another optional “nice touch”: • Webcam with them! MSN, Yahoo IM, Skype are already very used overseas. • Then you can “show” them things, and vica versa!
Network with them! • Learn about their library conditions & instruction programs (if any) • Share with them your instruction programs…and offer to link to your library’s homepage (or special page for them)
Some of my in-person networking: Indonesia
Some of my in-person networking: Philippines
Some of my in-person networking: Malaysia
Some of my in-person networking: Thailand
Some of my in-person networking: Myanmar
Some of my in-person networking: Cambodia
Some of my in-person networking: Vietnam
Some of my in-person networking: Mongolia
The resulting benefits? • You learn more about what kind of library conditions/services exist at certain universities (CAUTION: don’t stereotype the whole country from your 1 university)
The resulting benefits? • They learn about your library, and can better prepare their study-abroad students on what to expect And you might even meet them, in-person!